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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN EDUCATION   391

sciences, and no longer rest on untested general impressions.
From a realization of these things rose the American child-study
movement.

The pioneer in this movement was Granville Stanley Hall
(1846-1924), at a later time the distinguished president of Clark
University. In 1883 he began his life-work with an inquiry in
the schools of Boston regarding The Contents of Children's Minds
on Entering School—suggested by a similar inquiry of Herbartian
origin in Berlin in 1869. Thence he proceeded with the help
of a band of disciples whom he had attracted to him to explore
the mind of the child and the adolescent in a long series of
investigations, the results of which went to fill the pages of his
many Journals and finally to provide much of the material for
his great book on Adolescence (1904). Thus initiated, the move-
ment spread like wild-fire, first throughout America, then over
the world; and by the last decade of the Nineteenth Century
there was evidence in a great output of books and journals on the
subject that the scientific study of the child had become an
accepted part of modern educational activity.

The methods adopted in the study of childhood and youth in
what may be called the American stage of the movement were
various. The most important was the investigation of such
basic facts of human nature as curiosity, fear, anger, pity, love,
art, religion, by means of reminiscences of adults set down in
response to carefully prepared questionnaires. This was the type
of child study most favoured by Dr. Hall himself at this time.
Another line of work—well illustrated in Professor Earl Barnes's
Studies in Education (1897, igoz)—was the study of children's
experiences and attitudes as revealed in compositions written by
the children in answer to specific questions. One of the best and
most popular of these, which may be mentioned by way of example,
was an enquiry regarding children's ideals, based on answers to
the query : " What person, of whom, you have heard or read,
would you most wish to be like ? "

Subsequent criticism has thrown doubt on most of the results
of this child study on the ground of its statistical imperfections..
But even if it be admitted that the methods employed were often
somewhat crude, and that the conclusions drawn from them had
not the universal validity which the investigators sometimes
assumed them to possess, it still remains true that in the hands